FULTON, NY – Coming together on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the Fulton community gathered Tuesday to pay tribute to the nationÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s veterans.
VeteranÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Day was originally known as Armistice Day; designated as a way to mark the signing of the armistice treaty that brought the official end of World War 1 in 1918. Seven years later, it was proclaimed as a day to honor those who have served the country in the United States military.
Several speakers reflected on the importance of the day during a ceremony that was held at the Fulton Municipal Building.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWe gather today to pay tribute to those who selflessly served our country,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Fulton Mayor Ronald Woodward said.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œOur veterans live the words ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“honor, loyalty, duty and one nation,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Woodward said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIt is fitting that we take this time to reflect upon those ideals and to assess how they are upheld in our everyday lives, as there is no better way to honor those fallen men and women than to try our best to exemplify these characteristics for which they gave their lives.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Legislator Louella LeClair said her family has given her a huge sense of military pride. She noted that her father and brother are former servicemen. Her son has been on active duty for more than 20 years and will retire in January.
LeClair asked people not only to remember fallen soldiers and pray for them, but also to demonstrate their gratitude when they see an active soldier or veteran.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œ(When you) see a man or woman in uniform, step forward, shake their hand and tell them ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“thank you,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â LeClair said.
Father Moritz Fuchs explained that while Memorial Day is for the dead, VeteranÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Day is for the living. He pointed out that many of those who have fought for the country are not able to attend ceremonies because of injuries they sustained in wartime.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWe celebrate today with gratitude to God,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Fr. Fuchs said, adding that the country needs to focus more attention to the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œbroken, maimed and damaged veteransÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â who have come home.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe horrors of war are all too exemplified,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â he said.
Fr. Fuchs said that the country also needs to focus more of its attention on the national motto ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIn God We Trust.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIf we truly cherish our freedomsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦ we need to turn to God for help.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Bonnie Fowler led the group in ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe National AnthemÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â and ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œGod Bless America.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â The ceremony concluded with a 21-gun salute, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œTapsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â and a moment of silence for a fallen Marine.
Fuchs asked for the moment of silence for Carmelo ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œCharlieÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Terranova. He explained that Terranova skipped school Dec. 15, 1941 and took a bus to Syracuse to enlist in the United States Marine Corps.
Terranova served four years in 3rd Battalion of the 1st Marines and spent 2-Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â½ years overseas.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â He was in the first wave of Marines who landed on Guadalcanal, Aug. 7, 1942. He was wounded in the Battle of Peleliu and received the Purple Heart. Almost 50 years later, he received the Bronze Star for bravery beyond the call of duty.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â He was a member of the 10th Tank Battalion of Syracuse and was recalled to active duty for the Korean War.
Terranova, 86, passed away Monday.
After the ceremony, Michael Dunn of the Fulton VeteranÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Council said that he believes it necessary to take time every year to recognize VeteranÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Day.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThis is what our country was built on,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Dunn said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIt started back with the Revolutionary War. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦ The war to end all wars was supposed to be World War I but there have many wars since.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Dunn noted that the nation continues to send the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œcream of the crop,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â its youth, off to war. Many are killed, he said. Many others are coming home wounded and forgotten.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIt is important that we show them that we, as a city, are proud of them and proud of our heritage,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Dunn said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWe are losing over 2,000 veterans a year, from World War II and Korea. We need everyone to know that their freedom came from the sacrifices these men and women made for us.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Following the ceremony, a luncheon was held at the ElkÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“s Club, where Don Kitts was named the 2009 Veteran of the Year. Kitts, a U.S. Army veteran, will serve as the Grand Marshall of the annual Memorial Day Salute parade.
The group also presented Fowler with an honorary plaque, flowers, a card and a gift certificate as a show of thanks for her consistent support of activities to honor veterans in the city.